Colloquium Schedule

Colloquium: Thursday, January 27, 4:25 PM 

“Red Blood Cell Membrane Architecture, Shape and Biomechanics: From the Micro- to Nanoscale”, by Prof. Velia Fowler from the Department of Biological Sciences, University of Delaware

The biconcave disk shape and deformability of the mammalian red blood cell (RBC) is vital for its circulatory function and relies upon a specialized cytoskeletal structure called the membrane skeleton. The membrane skeleton consists of a 2D viscoelastic network of membrane-associated actin filaments (F-actin) connected by long, flexible spectrin molecules. Previous models have proposed that elastic network properties and network linkages to transmembrane proteins are sufficient to explain RBC shapes. However, our work now demonstrates that RBC biconcave shape depends on the contractile activity of non-muscle myosin IIA (NMIIA). RBC NMIIA molecules assemble into bipolar filaments with F-actin binding motor domains at their ends that exert forces on the membrane skeleton to form the dimple. We are using super-resolution fluorescence microscopy to determine the nanoscale organization and dynamics of F-actin and NMIIA in RBCs, and are collaborating with computational biologists to examine the relative importance of actin polymerization dynamics versus actomyosin contractile forces in controlling micron-scale membrane curvature and biconcave shape of RBCs.

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Physics and Astronomy Colloquia are usually scheduled for Thursdays at 4:25 PM in Room 316 Lewis Lab.  For Zoom participation, please see below:

Meeting ID: 972 1274 7894
Passcode: 631869

Physics Colloquium Schedule for Spring 2022

Click on Title below for past or upcoming Announcements (where available), and Speaker name for website.        

Date Speaker Affiliation Title
January 27 Postponed to March 10 -
February 3 Srinivas Rangarajan Lehigh University


February 10 Matthew Foster Rice University -
February 17 Seth Aubin College of William and Mary -
February 24 Aurelia Honerkamp-Smith Lehigh University -
March 3 Subir Sachdev Harvard -
March 10 Velia Fowler University of Delaware Red Blood Cell Membrane Architecture, Shape and Biomechanics: From the Micro- to Nanoscale
March 17 Spring Break - -
March 24 Shailesh Chandrashekharan Duke University -
March 31 Jay Deep Sau University of Maryland -
April 7 Anders Knospe Lehigh University  -
April 14 Megan Valentine UC Santa Barbara -
April 21 Antal Jevicki Brown University   -
April 28 Gunther Roland MIT -
May 5 Joseph Thywissen University of Toronto -